Choosing London’s most important building was always going to be a matter of personal taste, so perhaps it shouldn’t be a surprise that, when asked by the Royal Academy, professional contrarian Will Self opted for a bus garage.
Not any bus garage, mind, but Stockwell bus garage. The beautifully contoured, Grade II*-listed concrete behemoth was built in 1952 and has long been admired for its striking design. It was chosen by the novelist as part of an upcoming series at the RA, Critics’ Choice: London’s Most Important Building, which seeks to identify the structure that is most significant, be it for “architectural, cultural, political or personal reasons”.
The full programme:
24 January: Mike Leigh weasels out ever so slightly, favouring to speak about London’s unnoticed gems rather than choose a single building.
15 February: Antony Gormley nominates the Hayward Gallery.
14 March: Will Self aggrandises Stockwell bus garage.
16 May: Monica Ali defends east London’s Museum of Immigration.
Tickets for each event cost £12 / £6 concessions, and they take place at the Geological Society, beside the Royal Academy’s entrance on Piccadilly.